Let’s take a look at a comparison between the 13-inch 2.0GHz black MacBook — the one I have been seriously considering getting — and a similar offering from HP. How about the $1543.99 Pavilion dv2000t?
Apple: 2.0GHz Intel Core Duo. HP: Same.
Apple: 1280×800 resolution 13.3-inch display. HP: 1280×800 14.1″ display. 0.8″ larger (not necessarily a good thing).
Apple: 512MB memory. HP: 2 GB RAM. 1.5 GB more (a good thing).
Apple: 80 GB HDD. HP: 100 GB HDD. 20 GB larger.
Apple: SuperDrive. HP: LightScribe SuperMulti. Essentially equal, though you could argue the LightScribe is better.
Apple: 802.11b/g and Bluetooth. HP: 802.11a/b/g and Bluetooth. The difference is a, if you care.
And yes, the dv2000t has a built-in 1.3 megapixel webcam and microphone, just like the iSight. So it’s about the same, but the prices weren’t exactly equal, so let’s customize a system.
The dv2000t starts at $799.99. Upgrade to a T2500 (2 GHz) for $225, an 80 GB drive for $25, the LightScribe SuperMulti for $75, and Bluetooth for $10. Total: $1133.99. The similar MacBook is $365.01 more, or about 32.19% more. By Apple’s math, the MacBook costs 132% more (or 1.3X). That’s using Apple’s method for calculating “5X Faster”, etc. Getting the HP would save me $365 to get more RAM, software, and/or a case. Of course, that would mean giving up Apple’s amazing design, OS X, and that stuff. But there are free Windows apps that do the same thing, yet I don’t use them. Hmm… I still like the Mac, but HP is compelling.